Got an flyer for TOPPING TREES today

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Marcos, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,209

    VIEW.....I had a wealthy customer who had bought a hill top property. At the lower edge of the open field, a former owner had planted White Pines. After 2 years they decided to move. They hired a realestate appraiser to do an evaulation. They ended up hiring a tree company to climb up and cut the Pines tops off about 30' from the ground. It was a mess. They left every thing in the wood line. It increased the view considerable and most likely increased thier top end by several thousand dollars.
     
  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I remember that thread. I concur with you assessment.
     
  3. DeereHauler

    DeereHauler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 604

    "tree topping" is huge in this area. i DO NOT believe in it myself, but the old time companies, and older generation customer believes its the only way to be done....year after year after year.... its disgusting. i tell my customers to hire an arborist, or someone who will prune, not butcher. they always go the cheap route.
     
  4. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    Depends on the trees and where you live. In Florida, the groves get topped every few years. Avocadoes need it to protect them from uprooting in wind storms. Hatracking of certain types of S. Fla trees does no damage as the tree will be back to the same size in only a couple of years. Ficus trees are a good example.
     
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    In this example obviously the "former owner" who had planted the white pines was the one who messed up.

    If they had decided to stay longer than 2 years they soon would have realized that their choice of trees had quickly ruined their view, which is a vital aspect of a homestead.

    Even if the value of the property was increased by the topping action, the white pines were certainly doomed to their deaths at the same time.
    It would have been much wiser of the original owner to go with something with an eventual lower ultimate maximum height.
    (Those options vary greatly with geographic location, but they do exist)
     
  6. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Except we are not talking about fruit trees or trees used in an agricultural setting.

    http://www.plantamnesty.org/stoptopping/5reasonstostoptopping.htm
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/topping.aspx the International Society of Arborculture.
    http://www.grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_tree_topping/[/url]

    A quick good search show 1.79 million responses for tree topping. Most from trade groups universities indicate its harmful. On the first page of 100 results I seen 1 craigslist ad where someone wanted their trees topped.
     
  7. Mrsamman

    Mrsamman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Hope I can ask a tree trimming question? I have a maple that I want to thin out the middle of. Mainly along all the inside large branches I want to remove all the little branches and suckers than are like 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. I basically want all the leaves out on the outer 50% of the tree. Does that make sense? Is it ok to do this? I was going to do this in January or february. Thanks for the advice.
    Scott
     
  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,934

    When trained arborists do something similar, it's called crown reduction, but generally when there is no alternative like allowing more top-growth, and it's also very planned as to where cuts are made. And be done in stages, not just one crew-cut session.

    This tree here, has been crown-reduced to preserve the view over it...

    http://www.mdvaden.com/mt_fuji.shtml

    But that's not topping. I don't even put "crown reduction" on my brochures.
     
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Well, I had no clue this would become an advice thread, but I'll try!

    Is this an immature maple that is still growing? Or a mature one that you're thinning?

    Pruning now through early January for maples is fine.
    I don't know if you have a hard maple or not (with possible sap flowing) so don't try pruning anytime later than that. They could bleed all over you!

    I recommend pruning with a nice shears or a good saw about 1/2"- 3/4" or so away from the 'collar'. For immature trees, remember as you work that branches remain at the same height in relation to the ground, and don't move 'up' as the trees grow.
    (honestly....some people don't know this :dizzy:)
    So...if you have a 'low' branch or two now go ahead and zap it.

    You want to generally leave the most 'horizontal' of the branches, taking out the vertical ones and ones that 'cross over' and 'up through' other ones.
    Don't take too many branches out of one given section in one year, as that will spur a lot of negative-force 'water sprouts' (vertical shoots) later next year. And of course, remove the dead stuff.
    HINT: If you look at two branches that are REALLY close together and you want to cut ONE of them, it's usually wise to cut the SMALLER one.
    Cutting the LARGER one will allow the smaller one to grow, yes.
    But more times than not it will bring on the water sprouts too!
     
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    That cherry's beautiful!

    Years ago when I was still in high school I worked for a psycho landscaper who had anantique apple orchard here in Cincy.

    He was nuts but he knew his stuff about pruning. And he made his trees look much like your cherry....over much time.
    In hindsight I was very blessed to have worked with him and to have learned how to prune from him.
     

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